Main | Thursday, April 11, 2013

National Hockey League Partners With Anti-Homophobia Sports Group

The National Hockey League announced today that they will formally partner with the anti-homophobia sport group You Can Play. Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed:
"Our motto is 'Hockey Is For Everyone,'" NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement announcing the news, "and our partnership with You Can Play certifies that position in a clear and unequivocal way. While we believe that our actions in the past have shown our support for the LGBT community, we are delighted to reaffirm through this joint venture with the NHL Players' Association that the official policy of the NHL is one of inclusion on the ice, in our locker rooms and in the stands."

Patrick Burke, who started the You Can Play Project in part to advance the legacy of his brother Brendan, an out collegiate hockey coach and former player who died in 2009, called the NHL's move historic. "I think the most important thing is that we're seeing a major professional league and a major professional players' association step up and make an official statement about inclusion. This isn't, 'Oh, we'll deal with it.' This isn't, 'Oh, we'll tolerate it,'" he said. "This is the hockey community saying to the LGBT community, 'You are invited. You are welcome. You are embraced here.' This is huge. From a sports perspective, this is historic."

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